“There are never any mistakes- only happy accidents.” So says my PBS painting hero Bob Ross. I used to be transfixed by Bob Ross’s shows as a child- and I actually learned a thing or two about painting. But what always stuck with me was his cheerful demeanor whenever the paintbrush slipped and left an unexpected mark on the canvass. He never grumbled (granted- it’s possible those moments were left on the editing room floor) and cheerfully changed course based on what was happening in the moment.
Gluten-free cooking is a lot like that… sometimes you just have to change course. We gluten-free bakers and chefs are pioneers. We constantly live on the edges of what’s possible- often not by choice. For me that means lots of trial and error-being willing to make grand mistakes for the sake of learning and growing. And, when life gives you lemonade- or flat macarons- you’ve got to be willing to recognize the fabulous “not macaron” in front of you and develop a new dessert.
My final macaron experiment did not go as I had planned. I had grand visions of a new macaron called “The Kansas City”… fabulous blend of maple, pecan, bourbon and bacon. “Un Homage” to Kansas City and the Southern/Midwestern borders it straddles…. what I got something new and unexpected. Well many somethings new…My first attempt in grinding my own nuts led to a very delicious maple-pecan butter. I’ll be using that as a filling for one of my croissants this next month. The second something looked and tasted more like a really awesome GF ‘Nilla Wafer (even though there was no ‘nilla in this whatsoever!) than a macaron! Go Figure!
To make our newly named GF ‘Nilla Wafer, we subbed out pecans for almonds and used maple sugar and maple syrup. To be honest- that was the most unscientific thing we could have done. When working under proper conditions with plenty of time- you should only ever change one variable at a time….never all of them! But- would I have ended up with a GF ‘Nilla Wafer if I’d tried that? Nope….so there you go- a case for just going for it and seeing what happens.
To those of you who joined me on the Macaron Journey this month- thanks for your participation, and I hope you enjoyed the results- whatever they were. My cousin Hannah sent me a few pictures of her Macaron party. Hannah and her friends are to be commended. They are college students with limited equipment, and in this case, also limited ingredients! They did a great job, and I’m so proud of their endeavors! I have to point out that Hannah is an aspiring Marine Biologist, and so it’s fitting that one of her macarons looks like a little fish!
To create GF Tiramisu, use my GF Ladyfinger recipe here, or use your failed macarons.
The Kansas City Tiramisu incorporated maple sugar and bourbon in place of white sugar and marsala, used sprinkles of pecans and maple sugar, and a bacon garnish.